Apple Rejected My App Because Of The Word “Flappy”

Flappy Bird

This is a guest column by Todd Smith, sharing his experiences about why Apple rejected his recent App.

With the interest of Flappy Bird increasing with each day, many developers decided to try and create similar games to provide a variety for the millions of users. I created and submitted “Floppy Penguin – Super Fun Obstacle Dodge!” for review on February 5th locked and loaded with appropriate keywords. The next day I had a suspicion that the recent Advertising Identifier rejections (see a link to a great below) that many have experienced (me included) could hold this app up too. I quickly took a look at the code and found some issues that needed to be resolved. I fixed these issues, rejected my binary (losing one day) and uploaded the improved version. On February 12th, it went into review and was metadata rejected stating several reasons, but the main one said:

“We found that your app, and/or its metadata, contains content that could be misleading to users, which is not in compliance with the App Store Review Guidelines.

Specifically, we noticed that the app metadata leverages “Flappy Birds.”

After reading through all the rejection notes, (over 850 words) I changed the title from “Floppy” to “Frosty” thinking this would help considering the name that shows up under the icon was just set to Penguin.

I waited a day until it went into review and then it sat there for another day to be rejected on February 14th.

They stated several reasons, but the main one mentioned:

“We found that your app duplicates the content and functionality of apps currently available on the App Store.”

I’m not sure about other developers, but once you get this type of rejection, you usually throw in the towel and understand it’s probably not going to happen. I could appeal the rejection and contact them several times, but what it really boils down to is they make a great point. If you choose to chase a trend, have realistic expectations and an understanding that tons of people are doing the same thing. Not every app or great idea will make it into the store. I have more than a few that will be forever rejected in iTunes Connect.

I know a lot developers get mad about the strict review guidelines and the idea if you catch a reviewer on a bad day, your app could get “flagged” and rejected. However, they’ve made mistakes just like me and I respond respectfully so they can sort out the issue. I’d rather have the bar set high and have a few of my apps be causalities of this, than a bunch of spam apps in the App Store.

Fortunately Parachute Pig was accepted into the store and a lot of users have left good feedback stating how fun and cute it is. You can find it by clicking on the links below or just searching “Parachute Pig” in the App Store.

Free Version:

Pro Version:


Great article on Advertising Identifiers:

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